In cases where people who have given up addiction to alcoholic beverages continue to occur behaviors similar to those displayed when the substance was consumedwe are in the presence of dry drunk syndrome.
It is common to see friends and family members surprised that a person does not improve their behavior even though they have stopped drinking. In this sense, the best explanation that can be given to this phenomenon is that those who have been rehabilitated have not really been able to abandon the mental patterns of a consumer.
To explain it better; When an addict stops using a substance, they have to change certain patterns maladaptive thinking. If this does not happen, we can indicate that the recovery is partial.
What are the symptoms of dry drunk syndrome?
People who don’t use alcohol tend to think they have fully recovered from their addiction. But the reality is that it’s not that simple.
One of the main symptoms of dry drunk syndrome is emotional immaturity. Generally, people don’t act according to their chronological age.
Infantilism occurs when an adult engages in behaviors from an earlier developmental stage. For example, men who are in their thirties and their priorities are still very similar to what they were in their teens. In this sense, emotional immaturity and infantilism go hand in hand, although they are different.
We understand by emotional immaturity the difficulty or impossibility of managing one’s emotions. People with low frustration tolerance think that anything is allowed. When they can’t have something they want, they get annoyed.
In the same order of ideas, the most prominent sign of this syndrome is self-centeredness. Many addicts who have managed to stop using develop a fantasy in which they are superior to others, for having accomplished a feat that would involve resentment and admiration.
Why does this happen?
The cause of dry drunk syndrome is a failure in the rehabilitation process. That is, rehab is usually thought to be effective when the addict stops using, but in reality, there are other factors that need to be taken into consideration.
The way of thinking employee he is compulsive. This implies that whether or not there is any use of the substance, they will continue with specific behavior patterns. In general terms, those with the syndrome do not need to consume alcohol to be irrationally irresponsible.
In summary, we can summarize the causes in the collective ignorance about addictions. Without a doubt, the fact that an addiction is based only on drinking prevents people from seeking professional help when they stop drinking on their own.
Tips for overcoming dry drunk syndrome
By understanding that alcohol addiction goes beyond drinking, we can access comprehensive rehabilitation that keeps us off consuming and which also promotes behavior change. Let’s see how it is.
1. Focus on change from thinking
Real change always comes from the way you think. When we are able to change maladaptive thought patterns, behavior is also changed in a collateral way.
Thus, the priority must be to shape thoughts towards an ideology of social adaptation.
2. Accept that improvement doesn’t come fast
Have expectations unfeasible complicates the process of overcoming. It is advisable to understand this changes are medium and long-term projects. In this way, anxiety dissipates and small achievements are better valued.
Pretending that when you stop drinking your problems will end is a simplistic idea.
3. Seek professional help
In order for the rehabilitation to be effective, it will be necessary to consult a specialist. Basically a psychologist, who is the one who should provide the necessary tools for the change in thought patterns to take place and be maintained over time.
How can I help someone with dry drunk syndrome?
The best way to support someone suffering from dry drunk syndrome is to do it showing you that your problems continue to affect your life. In some cases it is not easy to make him accept his situation; the resistance to reality is strong.
In people who have stopped drinking there is usually a more intense process of denial than in those who still drink. In this sense, help should not be coerced. The most effective is usually to psychoeducate the importance of changing old habits.
Progressively an approach that generates trust with the person should be attempted. Always avoiding making value judgments about his life and his decisions. The goal is to promote effective change that involves you as a protagonist. Then, psychological assistance may be needed.
Can people with this syndrome drink again?
The answer is yes. dry drunk syndrome it is a fiction in which the person believes he is rehabilitated. Therefore, relapse into drinking is possible.
However, it is not usually the case that those who have moved away from consumption return to it as often. It is very likely that these are minor and sporadic recurrences.
What prevents the return to addiction? In this case, the feeling of control and security that has reached those who have stopped drinking becomes the novelty substance which replaced the effects of alcohol. The addiction is maintained, but it is no longer because of the drink, but because of the control.
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